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Opinion: Bournemouth should steal a march on West Brom and target 21-year-old striker after Danjuma’s sale



Championship side Bournemouth have sold last season’s top scorer Arnaut Danjuma after agreeing a €25m fee with Europa League champions Villarreal.

The Cherries were bracing themselves for his departure ever since the final whistle in their play-off semi-final second leg against Brentford, after scoring 15 goals and recording seven assists in 33 Championship appearances last term.

Many people would say he may have been the difference between promotion and remaining in the second tier for another season during this campaign under a new manager.

But with Premier League sides Everton, Wolves, West Ham United, Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton all previously reported to be interested in his services and Unai Emery’s Villarreal submitting an official bid last month, his mind may have been elsewhere on his return from injury.

And if his comments in the summer were anything to go by, he seemed pretty keen to leave the south coast, even saying he would have been interested in a move to top-flight club Leeds United who weren’t even monitoring his situation at the Vitality Stadium. He may have even pushed for a move later on this month if a deal hadn’t been struck – and that’s why there are several positives to come from this transfer.

Firstly, the fact the Cherries’ hand hadn’t been forced allowed them to hold out for a higher fee for Danjuma.

Secondly, this deal ensured a move was completed quickly to prevent the Dutchman from eventually forcing his way out of the club, avoiding unsettling the first-team squad who have been in great form so far this season.

Scott Parker’s side have won seven points from a possible nine in their opening three league games – and a major fall out between the club and the 24-year-old may have been detrimental to their chances of continuing in the same vein.

Quiz: Have AFC Bournemouth won or lost more against each of these 25 English teams?

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Have Bournemouth won or lost more against Southampton?

Despite suffering majorly with injuries already during this campaign, they have seemingly coped well and that will give Bournemouth fans a great deal of hope as they aim for promotion to the top flight once again.

But the last thing they need to do right now is rest on their laurels – it’s time to get busy in the transfer market.

Bringing in Orjan Nyland on a free transfer this week was a shrewd bit of business – but there’s still work to do in terms of adding depth and ensuring they can cope with the strains of a demanding Championship season.

Strength in depth will be key to any promotion charge this season with West Bromwich Albion and Fulham also looking very good so far in 2021/22 – and there’s one particular position that stands out as a weakness.

Apart from the very capable Dominic Solanke, Parker’s men only have a very limited number of options up top and this is bad news considering the number of goals Danjuma brought to the team last season.

The Dutchman may be a winger, but his departure means it’s a striker that needs to be at the top of their transfer agenda, and arguably should have been even regardless of him leaving.

With the combined money generated from their sale of Danjuma, the reported £5.5m fee received for Sam Surridge and the small pot of money from Diego Rico’s move to Real Sociedad, they could re-invest this in signing former Barnsley loanee and current West Brom target Daryl Dike this month.

The Express and Star believe it would take a ‘significant’ loan fee for the 21-year-old for Orlando City to let him go out on loan again – but the Cherries will have these funds available now the Villarreal deal has been pushed through.

And they would even be able to go for a permanent deal, although it could take around £20m to lure him to the Vitality Stadium after seeing Dike’s parent club put an £18m option to buy in Barnsley’s loan agreement for the United States international in February.

During his short time at Oakwell, he scored an impressive nine goals in 19 second-tier appearances and has carried on in a similar fashion in the present day, scoring twice in four MLS games this term.

Not only would his goalscoring prowess benefit Bournemouth, but his physical stature up top and his all-round play would only help them in their quest for Premier League football and keep Solanke on his toes.

Perhaps a loan move would be less risky and more realistic at this point – but he’s still a player they should look to be getting in and with West Brom yet to secure a deal – Scott Parker should swoop in before Valerien Ismael is able to arrange a reunion for the duo at The Hawthorns.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who is set to graduate from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Bournemouth should steal a march on West Brom and target 21-year-old striker after Danjuma’s sale

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